tv Washington Journal Robert Costa Discusses the Week Ahead in Washington CSPAN September 18, 2017 8:01am-8:49am EDT
political reporter for washington post. since he was last on, he is the moderator of the washington week on pbs. congratulations. in your washington post you wrote top democrat on immigration remains ambiguous pair went you expect we will get more clarity on that? did something happen this week? caller: you'll probably -- guest: you will probably see it once daca has been talked about and it starts to move forward on capitol hill. you are already starting to see signs on the right that there will be a fight against the president's deal. daca would allow, if continued, --ut 800,000 on documented undocumented immigrants to stay in the country. host: house members are back in
the districts. let's start on the republican side. what are you expecting in the wake of these negotiations that we are seeing between the president and democrats? not just on daca, but on the debt ceiling as well? payt: you'll have to attention to the kinds of things that are set at town hall meetings for house remembers -- house members. i was talking to a lot of house members at the capital last week and i was struck by how they articulated the different forces that are coming at them and how they all try to navigate these forces. on the left, they have energized it because of a president trump. they do not want to have that kind of rowdy town hall for the next 12 or 13 month ahead of the midterm election. about medicaid
and president trump. we are seeing a left that is energized. at the same time, moderate republicans are worried about the energized right. if you are a moderate republican , could you face a challenge from a trump supporter or trump ally? that is why, one of the things i pay attention to as a reporter, is the retirements. who is retiring and why? host: how many are you up to at this point? guest: a handful. a lot of people who i have spoken to are on the fence. maybe they step away and they go to the private sector. everyone in the house, is not sure how it will play out. is president trump going to be in the low 30's on the ballot next year or not? is a landslide for retirements. when should republicans get worried? guest: it will, probably in
early 2018. host: is that when the decisions will be made? guest: they will be looking at the primaries. there is an alabama senate race coming up. wins that race and president trump is supporting luther strange, if a conservative can when a race without even going against president trump, you'll see senator corker of tennessee who is also who i am watching. he has made a public about saying he is going to retire. what could push him over the edge? it could be primary unrest. host: this will be something we will be watching. back to this week. where democratic house members walking into this week after democrats around the country saw images of those meetings between
chuck schumer and nancy pelosi and donald trump? guest: it is the important question. the democrats are a more intriguing story than the republicans right now. on the democratic side, leadership is trying to work with the president. even they know that the base on thesdemocratic side load president trump. but they want them to work with the president and get a deal on daca and maybe adjusting the budget that the republicans have proposed. senator sanders unveiled his plan last week. you sought many democratic sign on. -- you so many democrats sign on. i have spoken to a number of them and they are trying to figure this out in the same way
republicans are trying to figure it out. how hard do they run on universal health care? , dohey take credit for it try to govern or keep quiet about it? host: yesterday on abc this week, congressman adam schiff, key democratic member from florida asked how real he thought the outreach was from president trump and here's what he had to say. [video clip] -- >> it is purely something that will come up from time to time when the president decides it it is his best interest. he has no ideology. he is not conservative or liberal. he is pro-trump. will align and we should not cut off our nose to spite our face. when it comes to the american people, we should take care of
that opportunity. host: last week, i heard a podcast in you saying president trump isn't looking to be a centrist or a moderate, he is looking to be popular. guest: that is so true. i have covered president trump for a few years. one of the things i take away is that this is a president unlike most presidents. he is not driven by an ideology. he is driven by the driver for popularity. though he has populist instincts and hard-line conservative instincts on certain issues, on immigration he wants to build a wall. immigration is a revealing issue on this front. he is the hardliner of hardliners on immigration. build the wall, kick them out if you are an illegal immigrant. he uses language that somebody find if not offensive, but he is the president am looking for popularity who is willing to
deal on daca. host: how does he judge popularity? guest: on polls. he has always look at public polls and internal polls. he sees polls as ratings. polls.ely followed the inused to talk about polls the same way that he would talk about ratings. we are winning this demographic or this group. he will pay attention to that whole. host: looks at on the polls that he agrees with, then? guest: he looks at polls and social media. changed they has paper flow in front of president trump. he has his own antenna. difficulty it is to be an adviser to president trump. he is really using his own observation on what he sees on
twitter and different articles he reads and what he hears on cable news. he is digesting and processing this information and using his instincts to guide him rather than any advisor. host: we will be putting a lot of stories in front of robert costa. if you want to call in them accredits, (202) 748-8000, republicans (202) 748-8001, independence (202) 748-8002. petty is up first in north bradford, connecticut on the line for independents? . caller: i want to make a few points please do not cut me off. i want to talk about the daca program. when they bring and extended families, it will be over a million. i am against it. i voted for trump for the wall and deportation and i think a lot of people feel the same way i do. choose.lls, and
polls have proven to be wrong and we have seen that. i don't even go by them anymore. the morning joe show, you sit around and bash trump all morning. they look ridiculous. thank you. host: robert costa. what is your response? guest: i appreciate your feedback. wall and and the deportation, i think your and the -- about daca wall and deportation, i think your comments are reflective of some of the frustrations people feel. assuranceht they had from him on the campaign trail that he would not be doing daca and that he would build the wall. he is facing a difficult situation. on daca, he has always been a bit mixed in the message he has
sent on this issue. at some points he said you needed to have a good heart and a deal with these thousands of undocumented immigrants in a compassionate way and other times he said you have to send them all out and you can't have themntry unless you send all out, including those under daca. he has not always been clear. now we see him making a deal. christopher in arlington, virginia on the line for democrats. go ahead. good morning. i don't know why the democrats are so reluctant to take the .ictories when the president gets on, just join him. and say thisth him version of capitalism isn't quite working for the midwest anymore.
started in my neighborhood in the 1960's, by the way. like a harbinger, but it was places like at buffalo and niagara falls and places like that that showed what this country is capable of doing. bring in the industrial base to places like houston and georgia and taxing those places. then they went to india and china. this kind of capitalism isn't working. it doesn't mean capitalism isn't working it just means we are doing it. take the victory from trump. the scariest thing for me is when he says everybody will have a job. we will be working for less than walmart wages while we have our
ovens and steel. i do not need that kind of authoritarian capitalism to tell me what to do. host: thank you for the call to christopher a democrat saying take the win. president trump does not let himself be outsmarted in negotiating daca. from theur points democratic side are provocative and they reflect some of the things i have been picking up in might reporting. i took a trip to northeastern pennsylvania and spent time with bob casey was up for reelection next year. i was struct that as he was talking about looking for a deal with president trump and the way that losey and schumer have, but he was echoing president trump on trade. they realize there is a populist streak and frustration with the loss of u.s. manufacturing and
as much as they are attacking president trump from various angles, when it comes to the core issue of trade about manufacturing and jobs, they do not want to see the republicans and president trump steel that issue from them. what we will see from democrats is not about deals on capitol hill but how they can reframe the message to speak to the for the independent voters and others who may have drifted toward president trump in 2015 but could drifted back if the democrats have a new message. ohio on thenati, line for democrats. good morning. caller: good morning. my issue with daca is money. if you stop the money that is -- ng in host: it be stuff the mind that is coming in? caller: it will curtail the building of the wall and it would curtail the issue about
a workinge would have environment. the money is debate to pull the people over the border lately. if you cancel that out, you will curb all this border crossing. these permits that you get to are note permits followed up your they are limited, but after they get paid, they do what they need to do. the money still flows in and that is why they overlook the illegal visas and so forth. one more issue i wanted before have to cut it short. did trump donate $1 million to ,exas for the harvey tornado because he made a big issue but nobody ever followed up? guest: people were following up.
my college a pulitzer prize for covering president trump's charity donations and you can be sure that the post and other news organizations will very closely follow-up to see whether the $1 million and the president has promised follows through to meet the organizations in houston. your point about immigration brings up how attorney general jeff sessions and trump advisors have talked about going after illegal immigration through policy and cutting off remittances in western using -- union transfers that people believe are feeling illegal immigration. at the same time, finding a congressional majority, even in a republican congress to deal with those kind of payments which are sometimes difficult to , this has been shown by many experts as something that would be somewhat of an arduous task. it is a legally complicated because if you try to go after people sending money through the
mail, how can the government determine what was legally obtained and illegally obtained? lawsuits possibly involved. you could be right that going after those transfers is something that has been talked about on the right. we have not seen it translate into policy. policy to foreign president trump heading to the united nations this week. be next two days he will having these meetings and making speeches. what are you watching for? what are the pitfalls for the residents as he heads to new york? matters.e big picture the president is still only in his first year. what kind of message does he want to send to the world? is it american first, hard-line message we have come to know? chiefrmer white house strategists and general kelly has come in and you have seen niki kelly, the u.n. ambassador,
and more traditional voices surrounding the president. does that calibrate the president's own message when it comes to speaking to the u.n. general assembly? attentionso be paying to how does he talk about north korea? it is one of the biggest crises on his desk. does he make china ramp-up sanctions or toughened relations? how does he deal with the military question? does he talk about different military options? south korea is a major part of the equation and we have tensions with south korea on trade. while the specifics matter, everyone really wants to hear, is this the same at president we heard in late january on the steps to the capital talking about marca first and how the country needs to pay attention to the u.s. for it pays attention to anyone else , or is he going to start to change the message?
host: michael on the line for independents. caller: good morning. i have a few comments and concerns. we talk about immigration and daca and while it is important , iaddress these concerns wonder if our congressional representatives can try to listen to this problem. we always blame the people who are coming, but if you think and ifhy they are coming we aren't hiring them and the people who are hiring them are the reason why they want to be here. i am all about immigration reform and having more diverse people in the country, but i
feel like why are they attacking the people who are coming here illegally, why not attack the people or at least penalize the people who are hiring them? i wonder if our congressional members have taken that approach. guest: what we have seen in discussions on capitol hill about comprehensive immigration reform is if there is ever going to be a bipartisan package. if there is, you'll have to have some penalties for corporations are you hear this from republicans for those in may be employing those who are undocumented. at the same time, there is a push in both parties to "bring people a lot of the shadows." to bring the people who are more in the center and they say bring them out of the shadows and give them work permits and a path to legalization or citizenship as a way of stopping people coming across the border for the jobs. right. every time i covering illegal
immigration or the comprehensive immigration reform fight, the corporation point comes up. the corporate response in washington is always corporations have jobs and low-wage jobs they are trying to fill. of course, undocumented positions take these pay the availability for the federal government to address the issue and they don't think they should be penalized for dealing with a workforce -- that is already there. how much a person or company should be penalized is the heart of the debate. what are the contours of legislation that could pass and address of the questions? and: a competent issue negotiation right now. here is senator tom cotton on nbc's meet the press yesterday talking about where he understands this negotiation is. [video clip] president has
said publicly that there is not a deal and he wants to see a deal. he wants to make sure we protect the interest of the american worker, in particular bite ending chain migration. -- by ending chain migration. they want to focus on a package of benefits for illegal immigrants. we want to put american workers first, and we will do that. there is no deal right now and i am happy to work with the president and the democrats to reach a deal that helps american workers. host: robert costa, you are a guy who talks to leadership a lot on this issue. talk about where mcconnell is right now and where paul ryan is right now and when they are having these conversations with members like tom cotton what they are saying. guest: allies of mcconnell and ryan tell me those leaders privately are somewhat frustrated by this turn of events.
they were prepared to focus on tax reform and try to get some kind of tax cut through. they believe if you can get a tax cut through for small businesses or individuals, that would be more helpful for the republican party as they try to keep majority in 2018. immigration, they think, i am --d, is a charged issue emotionally charged issue. the president is working with the democrats to try to get a deal. ,hen you look at senator cotton he is telling because he comes from arkansas and he has been one of the major proponents of limiting illegal immigration. -- legal immigration. not just illegal immigration. you see his real hesitancy to move forward with immigration legislation whether it is a daca deal are not, because there is economic frustration in his state and a display and at times on rising immigration levels for
the lack of jobs. you see senators very reluctant to see these deals move forward on something like daca. they would rather focus on limiting legal immigration. what we will have to see from mcconnell and ryan is, they know their ranks that daca is politically popular. if you deal with dock and provide a pathway to people in the polls, it is clinically populace. that is why president trump seems to engage on this. he knows his hard-line positions on immigration issues is popular with his base, but daca is popular nationwide. they have to deal with the sen. cottons. how do they frame the deal? both leaderships want to get something done on daca. the question is, what does it look like? it looks like republicans may be going against their own base as the president keeps saying they're getting massive majority. but the base i am talking about
wonders what it looks like. if they are going to give the president daca, what are we going to get? if we aren't going to get a wall, what are we going to get in terms of border guards and agents? these kinds of things add up for votes. host: we're talking to robert costa of the post a political pbs.ter and host on we're are talking about the week ahead in washington -- washington, d.c.. we are taking your questions and comments. stewart is on the line for independents. good morning. caller: when looking back into the history, ronald reagan worked a deal, didn't he? it was amnesty. he was supposedly supposed to get border security and it never worked well. he said it was the worst
decision he made in his administration. remember a deal -- it was said, no taxes, read my lips. he was supposed to get spending cuts down the road. more security down the road. if you does not get something out of this, there will be trouble. i will tell you what, there are several things he could get out of it. they could say now that we have daca, why do we need sanctuary cities? defund them. .2, i would like to see an investigative reporter -- number two, i would like to see an investigative reporter, and don't get me wrong, i know we will do this and i do not disagree with it. what i would like to know how many young people were educated on the american taxpayers dime.
i would also like to see that they do not have the right to .ote for 10 years see if the democratic party agrees with that. host: were you a trump voter in 2016? caller: reluctantly so. i was a ted cruz supporter. host: when you see -- say there is going to be trouble, what do you mean? caller: i am not talking about protesting, i am talking about the base. host: you are an independent trump voter and you supported senator cruz, so you are conservative on some issues. you are raising the question for president trump if you works more with the democrats because of his frustrations, is the daca deal and any other kind of engagement with the democrats a 2020t ceiling set up fight in the republican party over the presidential nomination? there has been talk about maybe
governor kasich running against the president in 2020 to but you alluded to the fact that there could be a conservative challenge if they feel they were betrayed on immigration. when i am talking to people at the white house, there is a gamble being made politically maybeonservative voters, yourself are maybe not, conservative voters seek president trump's antiestablishment and they share grievances with him about the establishment and different institutions. because of that shared protest meant of various issues and various institutions, that is the binding force. those are the ties that keep the president with his base and not necessarily towing the line on immigration policy. it will be fascinating to see it play out. does president trump move toward the center in some immigration areas cost them in some ways
does it stay with him? to see ayou want conservative republican challenge the president in a primary? that.: let me address yes, i would. i will tell you who else i supported. supported jim would. i think he is a good man. sure youaying is make get to something. protests are going on are so crazy. you tell me i am so mad about the first amendment. i will break the store and steal a widescreen television? this is ridiculous. host: thank you for the call from virginia. he brings up jim webb also from
virginia. caller: not the stain -- name i expected to hear. he was an independent democrat in many respects. i think the comment about senator webb is far and away from the national political scene. it is telling -- think about this voter. he like senator cruz and he likes jim webb. he doesn't like a deals but has a hard-line view in some ways but at the same time he is water ideologically. both parties are dealing with voters like stewart because they are not easy to read. they want to see fewer foreign wars. they want to see tougher trade it. they want to see a border wall. at the same time, they would be open to working with democrats on health care. is most interesting voter the one i met up in scranton.
voters who want to see tougher immigration policy, tougher traded policy, but when it comes to health care, they are open to talking about socialized medicine or universal health care or whatever you want to call it. that is telling that the ideological fault lines have been scrambled and both parties have to consider that. voters are more cockaded because of that, when did that start? in 2016. started years.ld trace it back you can think about pat buchanan in 1992 and 1996. still see that starting the populace wave or you could go back to barry goldwater in 1964. the way i trace it back in this -- is to 2008.8
many people began to rethink their loyalties. there were a lot of things that happened in 2008 politically. have a sarah palin populist nomination for vice president. she really launches the tea party movement. what is so striking to look back is we cover it at the time and it was based on fiscal policies and a smaller government. it has morphed into something that is not about that. it is more about the rage from the recession and rage about the unrest in american life. that is the real storm that still exists, not the tea party . sarah palin has basically faded from the political scene. from socially and economically still exists. we saw president trump be able to walk in and seize power. host: we have 10 or 15 minutes
left with robert costa. forf april, the moderate washington week on pbs. i want to ask about that for a second. what lessons did you learn to take you into this new role? she passed away last year and was the moderator for 17 years. smartersuch class and a way of approaching the show to have a conversation with reporters, much like you do all the time here at "washington journal. washington week is about having a conversation about what is based on policy and how things affect lives. gwen had the ability to bring out issues and get out of the insider and talk about consequences of what happens in what is inand
people's lives. been ona show that has 50 years. it started in 1967. it is sacred to many people in hastics as a place that respect and integrity. i want to follow in one's path and follow her example. host: we cover the national -- gwen's example. national -- e how do you defend against becoming cynical? was so rightk gwen in saying don't be cynical. you follow huge of pupils in the democratic party and the republican party and changes in power. you have to be able to step back from it all and say, i am not involved in this as a player. my job is to observe, take
careful notes, and spark of the best discussion possible based on the facts and let other people decide. if i can help paint a picture through conversation or report for the "the washington post" about what happens, and i feel we are doing our job. youink criticism comes when think too much about the players and the changes and start to think personally about things. step back and be a reporter and understand our role and the boundaries in our role is to not worry so much about whether we are cynical or not or what we feel about issues, but what we know and what we can share. host: what you think about the rise of the term fake news in the past year. guest: it is something we all have to deal with. it is unfortunate. me term "fake news" bothers because there are a lot of people in journalism who work hard to provide real news and to provide people with accurate
information. we are all confronting the erosion of respects for the media as an institution in our country. -- look, i amdia just a reporter here. we have to confront the fact that our capital with readers and viewers has been eroded. often not always because of what we have done, but we have made mistakes in the press for sure. we should own up to it, but we get away from the reality that fewer people are trusting the news. when i go around the country and say i am from a news organization, some people say i don't want to talk to you. that is really sad. but instead of being sad about it, and put a demand on reporters to be better and smarter and play it straight and to be tough when it necessary with politicians, but not to
editorialize. we want to reclaim the trust. it is the best thing when we can have a discussion about what we read in the newspaper and discuss the issues at hand and not about whether it is fake or real. host: we have a few minutes left with robert costa. kimberly has been waiting in washington, pennsylvania. a republican. go ahead. caller: you guys were talking about the money that -- the fines and legal actions against people either in -- hire immigrants. that is the problem. just like the whole immigration problem, nobody has been pushing the issue. as far as daca, i am a mother. myi came to a country so child could have a better life, i would gladly go back to my country and leave my child there so that they could have a better life. that is called a sacrifice.
it is just a mess. i am a trump supporter. i agree with trump, but i don't agree with democrats or republicans for 40 years laying games with immigration and the border. why can't they just make a deal that covers all immigration problems, the wall, the people, makingit, and stop deals? that is crack. host: is that dealmaking? i will agree with this if you agree with that? guest: yes, it is. -- caller: yes, it is. host: robert costa, i will let you jump in. caller: when you think -- guest: when you think back, a lot of lawmakers are saying why don't we have an umbrella piece of legislation that covers a wall
and border and penalties? it deals with people who are living in the shadows and people who have children here. the only way in this divided congress to get something done is to do it big. maybe that is not possible. you see the move forward incrementally on daca. the senate leadership and house leadership on the republican side is wary of the president doing this but still trying to deal with immigration on some level. this initiative is never going to go away until there is some kind of a major bill and then there will be a huge upper. the best chance for any kind of immigration legislation will be deal on daca. are so many challenges
with the daca and so many different dynamics in both parties that could stop it. host: jeff in california on the independent line. caller: good morning. i did not vote for trump. republican to independent before the election. i was a protectionist probably until about 2011. at that time, i started to realize that localize asian was too far along, and we probably could not stop -- localization was too far along, and we probably couldn't stop it. trump thought he could correct these rings. it was like schwarzenegger in ventura, they found out you have to deal with the courts and the congress, and you just cannot do that the way our system is set up. you cannot walk in and do these things.
i don't think he lied. i think he thought he could do it. i just don't think he could. ist: the trade issue fascinating to cover because president trump believed there was a coalition out there. it wanted to see dramatic change on trade. once he became president, he recognized that you have a business community, a congress on both sides in some respects who are against having some kind andramatic trade agenda people within the administration are somewhat reluctant about having huge trade fights with china and south korea and western europe. the president in street is that bilateral deals where he thinks he can do best for the american people. each anddent can see
every day that he wants to make traded gestures and trade warnings and he does at times. daily fightseeing a from the administration because there are so many things in front of them before they can really upend american trade policy. one of the legacies for the trump administration will maybe so the trade accomplishments much as having started a different kind of nationalist conversation on trade and changing the way americans think about trade. that is why you see senator schumer in the senator keep talking about trade in a more aggressive away and the same way the way the president talks anymore populist way. that does not mean it will become policy here and now, but there is a tilt in the american trade debate that is beginning. that is notable, even if we are not seeing huge accomplishments.
host: to georgetown, kentucky. eric on the line for democrats. good morning. caller: good morning. i don't know if it is amnesia or , but leaving up to 2004 elections, republicans were giving jobs americans don't want to do. illegale all for immigrants over here working. they were okime, with them trying to get here illegally. the 2008 up to election. once obama was elected, then it they arehe sudden
criminals poring over the border . they basically gave license to it and told businesses they hiringo after them for illegals. they basically told illegals if you can get here and not get caught, we have a jobs. that nowadays the the ones people are leading this fight against the illegal immigrants that they drew over here. we are seeing the evolution of the republican party. one of the colors and mentioned president reagan in the 80's cut a deal on immigration. we have seen the chamber of congress side and the pro-business side really leading the fight for immigration reform. remember george of you -- george w bush won a slice of the
hispanic vote in his state and hispanic vote.he he was pushing in that direction of addressing immigration reform . for a lot of reasons and different factors, you have seen the party move away from the reagan and george w. bush model. that georget mean bush or ronald reagan side disappeared. it is a tension and a war right now. there is no resolution in sight. robert costa for the washington post you can follow him on twitter. you can also watch him on washington week on pbs, the moderator there. thank you so much. weeklyup next, it is our your money segment on the "washington journal. we will focus on the program known as supplemental nutrition assistance.
it is also known as food stamps. we will you write back. ♪ announcer: tonight, on the communicators, a discussion about key technology and telecommunication issues surfacing before congress. the fcc and the public and tech reporters. >> really important things to keep an i on is we are heading in a direction of two versions of neutrality will likely be litigated. from 2015 and will have untitled neutrality. where facing more pressure than before given the senate also has to hold a big vote on his reconfirmation this fall. this is unheard of for an fca --
fcc nomination. i think the merger that is at the top of everyone's mind at fcc and in congress and for people who watch and people in the industry is the broadcast group merger or acquisition of a bee media company. a broadcasting giant perceived as somewhat conservative leaning and perhaps politically aligned with republicans with the administration. the implications of them growing even bigger. announcer: watch the communicators tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span two. "washington journal continues. host: each week in the segment of "washington journal" we look at supplemental nutrition assistance program better known as food